Don't Forget about Alzheimer's Disease! Jenny Kinzler

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We're all pretty familiar with Alzheimer's disease or at least have heard about older people who have been diagnosed, but how much do we really know about it? I mean yes, it's is disorder that affects one's memory but what about the symptoms? Treatment? Cure? Allow me to enlighten your minds:

Alzheimer's disease is a form of dementia that worsens over time affecting memory, thinking and behavior. It is the SIXTH leading cause of death in America with over four million Americans living with it in our world today! Two types of this Alzheimer's exist: Early onset AD and late onset. Early onset AD is not very common but usually shows symptoms BEFORE the age of sixty. Late onset is much more common and generally occurs AFTER the age of sixty.

Patients with this disease typically suffer from difficulties with language, memory, perception, personality and judgment. Early symptoms of AD can involve losing interest in once-enjoyed activities, getting lost on familiar roads, difficulty with finding the name for a familiar object, misplacing objects and change in personality. As this disorder worsens, the patient begins to lose his ability to take care of himself. His sleeping patterns change and he begins to find it difficult to perform basic tasks such as driving, cooking meals and dressing properly. He may also begin to forget events that occurred in his past life and start withdrawing from social interaction. In the most severe cases of AD, patients can no longer comprehend language, carry out simple actions like eating and bathing, or even recognize their own family members!

However, Alzheimer's disease can be treated and prevented. Medications can be taken to help slow the rate at which symptoms develop, and regular exercise, healthy eating, sufficient sleep, stress management and an active social lifestyle can significantly decrease one's risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in the future.

Source: Alzheimer's disease. (2011). A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001767/


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I have personal family experience with this disease and it is a much bigger detriment to those it affects than most people think. My Grandma had it for over six years and had to move into our house. She broke her hip and could not walk after that. She was completely withdrawn from her old self. It was very stressful for us and we tried our best to take care of her as goood as possible. Eventually the disease became her death. She was a good, happy, and very healthy person before the disease struck. No one would have ever guessed this was going to happen and there was no doubt she would have lived longer, with no other health concerns. Overall this disease affects many people and I agree that it should be made more of a concern in our society. Unfortunately there is no real treatment that can be called a true "cure". Hopefully soon an effective treatment will be found.

I also have personal experience with this disease. My grandfather recently got diagnosed with it and it's been pretty hard on him. Him and my grandmother have started getting used to it though, they leave notes everywhere as remainders and he's started writing down in a journel because he doesn't want to forget everything. So far nothing to bad has happened and he's been taking some drugs to help and so far there helping but I to hope they'll be an even more effective treatment found soon.

Thankfully I have not had anyone in my family suffer with this yet, but it definitely brings a lot into perspective. I especially like the point you make of how one can decrease their risk of getting Alzheimer's; I am concerned I might get it way later in my life and I will definitely take that advice as time goes on.

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This page contains a single entry by kinzl015 published on March 23, 2012 1:09 AM.

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